A few days before Christmas, I received these two letters. Some may see posting them as bragging, but I see them as Christmas presents from God to encourage me to continue to be a good priest. I want to share them to encourage other priests too who, have suffered for being traditional priests. I left my parish of St. Patricks two years ago and am amazed that these children still remember me.
As a part of an assignment for the Serra Club Writing Contest, our Grade 6 students wrote an essay about a priest who is/was special to them. Enclosed you will find a copy of a letter that was written about you. I hope you enjoy.
“Father Peter played a role in my life and in my opinion, many other Catholics. He showed me and many people how to live the glorious life of God. He enlightened the spirits of many people that loved, adored, and knew him. To the people who rejected him, lied, and did not care for him, but only themselves.
In my opinion and many other people’s opinions he is a truly divine representation of Jesus Christ. Father Peter truly follows the standards of “God first, others second, I’m third”. He lives by those rules and will always live by them, criticized or not he will always be a true follower of the Church.
I say he is one of the best priests on earth, and in my opinion he is one of the greatest priests on earth. He is special to me and to many other people in my life and his. Father Peter has been through tough times, but he always looked to the bright side of things and never the bad. He is always ready to worship the life of God and the mass.
He teaches the ones who are learning about God the glorious events he has done on this earth and in heaven. He always helped the people who wanted to learn more about the Catholic faith. He did not care whether or not he is welcome or not. He will always be there to enlighten your spirit or to give you a bright smile on your face.
The reasons I believe Father Peter is a vision of Jesus is because he cares for all, even the ones who believe in many false gods. HE is a very important example in a Way that Jesus would have lived, he tries to learn more and more about our glorious Lord. In a way he shows us His kingdom and what it is like and what it will be like forevermore.
He plays a big role in my life. I have learned so much about God and the Church because of him. I have learned the gospel and the glorious holiday’s meanings. He always taught me to love God and others more than yourself. I still try my hardest to carry out those words to the public so that they may love and live like Jesus did.
Father Peter is a good friend, teacher, and loving friend to all who cross his path.” John O’Sullivan
“To me my priest is a sign of Jesus. My priest is my friend, and father. The priests that I have know in my life have always been very helpful and try to help me keep thirsting for Jesus. My priests have helped me to know and follow Jesus. Two of the priests that have had an influence on my life are Father Peter and Father Sam.
Father Peter was the priest at St. Patricks for a long time. He was the first priest I knew and the one I grew up with. He was the priest to baptize my little sister Bridget and I. Father is very much a family friend and great teacher.
Father Peter has also been very kind to me. He has gone out of his way to visit our family and talk to us. When we moved in to our new house, he came over and blessed it. Another thing he did was whenever anyone had a birthday, he gave us a blessing and asked God to keep guiding us and light our path. Even though Father Peter was serious about faith, he also knew how to have fun. He took my older brother and sister for a ride in his red convertible. He also had the church participate in Ripon’s annual Almond Blossom Festival. St. Patricks always has a part in the parade and I was even in it one year! Something I admire about Father Peter is that he always wore sandals and his cassock. He did this to let people know he was a priest. To spread the faith, and to convert others to Catholicism. Father Peter meant a lot to me and he meant Very much to St. Patricks.
Another great priest is Father Sam. He was one of the priests at St. Stanislaus for a while but now is at a parish in Sonora. He is always so extremely happy with what he does. He always has great homilies, and when I go to his masses I understand the reading more thoroughly than most times. Father Sam also gave me my first communion. Father Sam would always come to class and talk to us. He always encouraged everyone to go to mass. And at recess sometimes he would come out and play things like jump rope and football with kids at school.
Every priest that I have known has inspired me to learn more. All priests like Father Peter and Father Sam encouraged their parish to grow rich in their faith. They help you better your understanding of the Bible and guide you to follow God. I think Father Peter and Father Sam demonstrate that well. Rachel Morrow
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.